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License Expression Working Group

This group was officially disbanded in August 2008. Its work has been assumed by the joint NISO/EDItEUR ONIX-PL Working Group and a subcommittee of the Business Information Topic Committee that will be surveying re ERMI and the broader ERM landscape.

Charge to the Working Group

The National Information Standards Organization, Digital Library Federation (DLF), EDItEUR, and Publishers Licensing Society (PLS) have agreed to form a License Expression Working Group to develop a single standard for the exchange of license information between publishers and libraries.

The DLF has supported ground-breaking work in this area through its Electronic Resource Management Initiative (ERMI) and EDItEUR has used the ERMI requirements as the foundation of its work in developing its ONIX for Licensing proof of concept model. NISO's May 2005 Digital Rights Expression Workshop identified the need to coordinate and consolidate standards efforts in digital licensing rights expression.

Scope of Work

The working group, co-chaired by Nathan Robertson (University of Maryland Law Library) and Alicia Wise (Publishers Licensing Society, UK), has as its initial charge to:

  1. Monitor and make recommendations regarding the further development of standards relating to electronic resources and license expression, including but not limited to the ERMI and EDItEUR work.
  2. Actively engage in the development of the ONIX license messaging specification.

The technical working group will develop the recommendations based on review and comments. A review group will monitor work in progress and provide feedback to the technical group. 

Minutes of WG Meetings

Upcoming Events featuring License Expressions presentations

  • ALA Midwinter Conference , Philadelphia, PA
    License Expression Working Group: Update and Open Discussion
    Saturday, January 12th • 8:00 - 10:00 a.m. (location to be confirmed)


Reference Material


Committee Roster


Nathan Robertson

Director of Information Policy and Management and Lecturer in Law
University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law


Ellen Duranceau

Office of the Director MIT Libraries
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Ted Fons

Executive Director, Data Services & WorldCat Quality

Diane Grover

University of Washington Suzzallo and Allen Libraries

Greg Malar

Business Development Director
Rockefeller University Press

James Mouw

Assoc University Librarian for Collection Services
University of Chicago Library,

Adrienne Muir

Loughborough University Department of Information Science

Ed Riding

Catalog Program Manager
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Church History Library

Owen Stephens

Assistant Director: e-Strategy and Info
Imperial College, London